Let’s suppose for the sake of an example that you had a debt some years ago, your creditor took you to court and got a judgment against you. This raises a question that has plagued many people, which why does a charge-off stay on your credit report?
The short answer
The simplest answer to this is that this will stay in your credit report for 7 years from the time of your last delinquency. This is dictated by legislation titled the Fair Credit Reporting Act or FRCA. The reason for this is that your credit report is the history of your credit that starts the day you first opened an account and follows it up to your most recent status. The status of an account can be revised but the history of it cannot be deleted until the expiration of the statute of limitations, which is seven years.
Credit card accounts
In the case of a credit card, your credit report will include a list of your recent payment histories – whether they were delinquent or on-time payments. If you close the account, your lender will report its final status. Your account is “charged off” when your creditor writes off the debt as noncollectible. At this point, it can either transfer or sell your debt to a collection agency or go to court and get a judgment against you.
A public record
The biggest problem is that a judgment is a public record and will be listed on your credit report as such. This is a separate listing from a charge-off. In the event that you pay off the judgment, it will be updated on your credit report as “satisfied” but won’t be removed. The judgment will remain in your credit report for seven years from the date it was filed with the court, whether or not you pay it. If you do pay the debt, this won’t harm your credit as much as if you didn’t pay it. The only good news is that the negative impact that a judgment has your credit – whether unpaid or paid – will decrease over time.
Your debt could be sold
In many cases, your lender will sell or transfer your debt to a debt collector instead of going to court for a judgment. If this is the case, the charge-off will be listed in your credit report but will be noted that the debt has been moved to collection. The collection agency that buys your debt will open an unconnected account that will be listed on your credit report. You may see a balance that’s different from your original debt because a debt collector is allowed to charge you interest. Unfortunately, this, too, will stay on your credit report for seven years.
If you pay it off in full
If you eventually settle the debt or pay it off, it will be listed as the most recent status of the collections account. The original debt may be listed as “paid” or “settled.”. Unfortunately, the charge-off status will stay in your credit report for seven years.
If you’re having a problem with debt, a better solution than then waiting for one or more of them to go into charge-off status is to get some help. You might go to a local consumer credit counseling agency or if there is none in your area, find one online. The agency will work with you to develop a budget and a payment plan. They will then present this plan to your creditors. If they all accept it, he will no longer be required to pay them. Instead, you will pay the credit counseling agency monthly tenant will pay your creditors. This is a great way to keep any of your debts from becoming charge-offs and from a lender getting a judgment against you.
I am a personal finance blogger for National Debt Relief, a Debt Management Company that has helped thousands of Americans facing credit card debt problems. We help with debt settlement, debt management, and other debt related financial crisis' facing con